Friday, September 08, 2006

Two San Francisco Restaurant Choices

The task of choosing what restaurants to visit during a two day visit to San Francisco entails considerations aplenty. Just a few are type of cuisine, ambience, location, price, and very importantly the choice of dinner companions. I consider myself quite blessed to have a wife and a San Francisco based son and daughter-in-law who all share the same passion for food and a similar sense of culinary adventure as yours truly. Two spots that we found to be particularly worthy of note were Ame in the St. Regis Hotel at 639 Mission Street in SOMA and Burma Superstar at 309 Clement Street in the Richmond District.

With so varied a selection not only of sashimi and ceviche, but crudo and carpaccio, I like to think of Ame (French for "soul") as a kind of Nobu taken to the next level. Ame is definitely a "California" kind of place with influences ranging from Latin to French to Japanese to Italian. For more succinct information on what to expect that includes a menu, you should visit their website at

With both reluctance and apologies not only to my own readers, but to Ame, I'm sharing below several most inept photographic representations of some dishes we enjoyed. I shot them on the sly with my new Samsung SCHa-990 cell phone camera with which only now---four weeks later---am I beginning to learn the proper skills for shooting close-ups of what's served to me in restaurants.

Tempura Poke with Ogto Seaweed Hawaiian Sea Salt and Green Onions

Panko Crusted FRied Green Tomatoes with Forni Brown Organic Greens, Goat Cheese and Marcona Almonds

It seems to me that various types of fusions and hybrid cuisines such as served at Ame have been pioneering most of "what's new," on the Amercian culinary scene. Such trends have usurped the role of individual ethnic cusines to the point that less frequently is the question asked, "What's next?" Yet, for the past quarter century, whenever someone has asked me this question, my answer has been "Burmese." The proposition that Burmese cuisine itself is a hybrid of sorts bears some legitimacy. Certainly Burmese food incorporates influences from China, India, and Thailand. As far as I'm concerned that simply makes Burmese food more interesting, and I remain convinced that within just a few more years, Burmese cuisine will be the rage.

Burmese Superstar is hardly a pretentious place. Nor does it boast the sort of raving reviews as does Ame. But it is perpetually packed with lines going out the door. Its web site features a menu from which unfortunately the beverages were omitted, even though I don't know when I've ever enjoyed a drink more than I did their lychee julep. To see the food selections from its menu, go to its website at

With reluctance and apologies of the same ilk as those afforded to my readers and to Ame, below are a couple of similarly inept shots to give you some idea of the kind of what we enjoyed at Burma Superstar. For better or worse, not enough space remains on the site for them to be larger.

Tomato Salad and Okra Egg Curry